Despite the increasing approval of nerve drugs, very few people are using them due to soaring out-of-pocket costs.
Despite the increasing approval of neurological therapeutics over the past decade, a small proportion of individuals with conditions such as migraine, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease (PD) respond to these new drugs. being treated. – Out-of-pocket costs and benefits similar to existing drugs, according to results of a study published in neurology.
Brian Callahan, M.D., M.Sc., and Fellow of the National Academy of Neurosciences, University of Michigan School of Health, Ann Arbor, said in a statement: .
“For new, expensive drugs that have similar efficacy to older drugs, it is likely appropriate to limit their use,” he said. Future research is needed to see if it represents a barrier to new drugs that might be truly effective.”
Investigators used a private claims database to identify individuals with 11 neurological disorders and prescriptions for existing or new medications.
They include 2.3 million with migraine, 76,990 with multiple sclerosis (MS), 67,917 with PD, 57,259 with orthostatic hypertension, 22,936 with myasthenia gravis, and 6,257 with tardive movement disorder. 4,180 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, 2,277 with Huntington’s disease, and 267 with transthyretin amyloidosis. , 163 with Duchenne disease and 10 with spinal muscular atrophy.
Researchers examined the use of existing and new drugs.
“New” is defined as drugs that received FDA approval between 2014 and 2018 and includes elenumab, fremanezumab, and galcanezumab for migraine, ocrelizumab for multiple sclerosis, and peginterferon beta 1a.
When researchers calculated the percentage of individuals taking the new medication compared to all medications, 20 of those taking the new medication for all conditions, with the exception of 32% of tardive dyskinesias, were on the new medication. was less than %.
In addition, researchers calculated the average 30-day out-of-pocket cost for each drug. The two most expensive drugs are edaravone at $713 a month and eculizumab at $91 a month.
Overall, out-of-pocket and total costs for new drugs were significantly higher than for existing drugs and were highly unpredictable and variable.
“We live in a time when new treatments offer hope for people with neurological diseases and disorders,” said Orly Avitur, MD, MBA, FAAN, president of the American Academy of Neurology, in a statement.
“But even existing prescription drugs can be expensive, and drug prices continue to rise. is available and affordable,” says Avitzur.
Limitations of this study include short follow-up periods for some recently approved drugs and a small number of rare disease patients enrolled in the study.
New treatments for the rare diseases spinal muscular atrophy and transthyretin amyloidosis have changed treatment dramatically, but the small sample size precludes conclusions about the impact of cost on the use of these treatments. I couldn’t get it out.
Higher costs and similar benefits have led to less use of newer neuropharmaceuticals. EurekAlert. News release. November 30, 2022. Accessed December 12, 2022. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/972625